IMC 2003: Sessions

Session 1608: Finding Your Niche: The Individual and Social Place in Medieval Romance

Thursday 17 July 2003, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Department of English, Ohio State University
Organiser:Emily Leverett, Department of English, Ohio State University
Moderator/Chair:Emily Leverett, Department of English, Ohio State University
Paper 1608-bFrom Logos to Legein: Regenerating Silence in Sir Gowther
(Language: English)
Bernadette Vankeerbergen, Department of English, Ohio State University
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Religious Life
Paper 1608-cBewitched, Befriended or Just Whipped? Lanval and Sir Launfal
(Language: English)
Sharon C. Mitchell, Department of English, Ohio State University
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English
Abstract

The consistent desire of the protagonist to find where he belongs and secure his relationship to/in society and his level of success are discussed in this panel. Henry Griffy argues that the Sege of Milan engages contemporary debates about proper social structure: Bishop Turpin’s military engagement seems to advocate mobility between estates, but on closer reading the poem presents a conservative argument against such mobility. Bernadette Vankeerbergen argues that in Sir Gowther, the knight functions as a metaphorical logos, who is compelled to learn a rhetoric of silence and listening. By rejecting an aggressive logocracy, Gowther is reintegrated into society and associated with the redeeming Divine Logos. Finally, Sharon C. Mitchell argues that in Sir Launfal Thomas Chestre reworks Marie de France’s Lanval to remove implied criticism of chivalry or court life as intrinsically unworthy goals.